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Light Communication Question

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  1. Jan 18, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Explain how polarizing light shows light travels as a transverse wave.

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Light is generally an un-polarized electromagnetic wave but there are different ways that light waves are able to be polarized. I am unclear how the process of polarizing light shows that light travels as a transverse wave.
     
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  3. Jan 18, 2016 #2

    vela

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    What does it mean for light to be polarized?
     
  4. Jan 18, 2016 #3
    Polarized light waves are light waves in which the vibrations occur in a single plane?
     
  5. Jan 18, 2016 #4

    vela

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    Vibrations of what?
     
  6. Jan 18, 2016 #5
    Im not sure.
     
  7. Jan 18, 2016 #6

    vela

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    Well, that's what your textbook is for.
     
  8. Jan 18, 2016 #7
    vibrations of the light wave?
     
  9. Jan 18, 2016 #8
    vibrations of electric charges*
     
  10. Jan 18, 2016 #9

    Ray Vickson

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    No. Vibrations of electric charge give rise to light waves, but the waves themselves can travel through empty space where there are no charges to vibrate. The electric and magnetic fields vibrate, and those are not material things.
     
  11. Jan 18, 2016 #10
    I am clearly lost can you please explain the answer to me.
     
  12. Jan 18, 2016 #11

    haruspex

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    Do you understand the concept of electric field?
     
  13. Jan 18, 2016 #12
    yes
     
  14. Jan 18, 2016 #13

    haruspex

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    Do you understand that an electromagnetic wave consists of an electric field and a magnetic field, at right angles, each oscillating?
     
  15. Jan 18, 2016 #14
    some what
     
  16. Jan 18, 2016 #15

    haruspex

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